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Thread: 12v low Battery

  1. #1

    12v low Battery

    Hey all,

    I have a 2001 SeaDoo GTX RFI. Last year I had lots of issues with starting and others issues that last year costed me almost $1500. Ski starts up every time now because instead of an after market starter I now have a factory one. however, now starting isn't the issue, I'm getting a 12v low battery warning. I got it back from my guy who fixes it after he put the starter in and he told me it wouldn't hold a charge I need to replace the rectifier. Since it was quite simple I changed it myself. I am pretty sure it is a good rectifier, I bought it from a SeaDoo place, if that means anything. I put it in, it starts right up, I take it on the water and get the warning. it then dies to about 10 MPH barely allowing my to get back to the dock. That was the first and only time I've rode it and I've already sunk $800 into it in the past few months.

    Basically I have a 2 stroke piece of crap SeaDoo that when I can I cant wait to trade it for a 4 stroke, but since this is what I have I want to ride it. to give you the break down, this is what was replaced during the summer last year. stater put in it last year (maybe been rode 5 times since stater was put in), new drive shaft, new PTO, and an after market starter. This is what I just got done to it: new starter (factory), new battery (since the one was 4 years old and we thought maybe that is the problem), and now a new rectifier due to it not holding a charge. I check all fuses even the 20amp under rectifier (all were good), pulled out the connection to the stater and sprayed it with cleaner. Only thing that was a little off was the positive connection to the starter relay was a little lose. Someone said to clear MPEM? not sure what that is or how to do it? its looking like it has to do with stater or a short somewhere. once again stater is new and expensive so I'm hoping it isn't that. I don't really know much about skis and I don't have the testers to test the stater. I am going to take it to a place tomorrow and see what they can figure out, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry for being so long winded I'm just upset that I've spent $800 and have nothing to show for it

    Thanks,

    Nate


  2. #2

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    The rectifier and charging system can be tested with a basic voltmeter while hooked up to the hose. Check the battery DC voltage. Should see 12.5 or something in that range. If it is below 12v charge it out of the ski before performing next check. Crank the ski. Voltage at the battery should increase some then more as throttle is applied. This indicates the charging system is working. Something around high 13 to 14 would be good. Next change the meter over to AC and check the battery again. You should not be seeing any AC voltage.

    If all that is fine, and when you run the ski and get 12v low warnings, I would lean toward a bad/dirty plug connection or bad/dirty ground. Clean all connections completely then run it some more. Bad connections can drive you nuts thinking it is other stuff.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the response hellhound. I forgot to mention that I did run it, put a meter on the battery, and rev'd it up. When I did all that it stayed at 12 point something it never went up to 13 or 14 volts. I was flushing it out yesterday and in the 5 mins a ran it the warning came up again. However, I never switched it to the AC to check that. Once again I know nothing about boats this was all done by me and a friend who has the meter. I though about the ground but once again I have no clue where to find that. If it isn't stater or anything I'm thinking there is a short in a wire somewhere, yea/nay?

  4. #4
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    to properly troubleshoot a charging issue you have to start at the front and work your way back. A methodical and OCD state is suggested, shut off your phone, you do not want any interruptions while you investigate.

    First thing to have a look at is the connection to the stator, you need a mirror and a good flashlight.

    Inspect the pins at the engine, and have a good look at the connector, should be shiny with no green crap showing. Disconnect the voltage regulator Check for resistance between the yellow stator wires and ground it should be infinite. Resistance between yellow wires should be less then 1 ohm.

    With a quality voltmeter set to a/c start the engine and check the output on the three yellow stator wires at idle and very quickly check it at 5krpm. Should be showing 45-70V ac, I would suspect one or more of your stator coils are faulty. USe best practices for working on electrical. vent the hull, remove flammables and be cautious, you can get a good shock, which may cause injury

    Then you need to make the same check at the connector to the voltage regulator on the harness. Measure the a/c voltage on all three legs, then shut the engine, disconnect the battery, reconnect the regulator start the engine again switch to dc and see what is coming out of the voltage regulator for DC output.

    A faulty fuel pump that is drawing way more current then it should can cripple the system. You need a good ammeter to check the current draw, I believe the spec is less then 10amps at 5k rpm.

    The stock regulator is a bit wimpy for this ski, with a little creative wiring work you can use a 4-tec regulator which has a higher capacity and won't fail every other season. There are aftermarket regualtors available with the correct electricals on them to use a 4tec unit on an rfi

    I like getting electrical issues into the shop, fairly simple fix for me most of the time and everybody goes home happy. It just takes a method.

    report back on measurements and I'm pretty sure you'll find either the stator isn't putting out, or the new regulator isn't.

    Checking the fuel pump requires specialty tools or you can wire up an external battery to the fuel pump first and see if the skis battery is getting 13.5+ at idle, if that's the case the pump is going bad. Sorry, that's an expensive bit.

    That's what I do when somebody comes in after another shop has replaced everything and still no joy. I have a harness made up so I can run the fuel pump externally. Less then 25% of the time the pump has been bad

    I had a good one this year..a 4 tec owner on their second go round with other shops had spent close to $1000 and somehow one of the other shops missed a bad pin on the stator connector at the harness EVEN AFTER THEY REPLACED HIS STATOR!

    Needless to say I expect to be a witness in his small claims case as he's going after the shop that replaced the stator. He specially asked for the old stator back on the work order and somehow it got tossed out ( I somehow think they didn't change it at all). He'll never make up for missing half the summer last year while these asshats guessed and threw parts at his problem.

    I've never installed a factory starter, there is just too much of a premium on those, aftermarkets for the most part are well constructed(the Chinese are experienced at making electric motors so their tooling is pretty good)
    You can get a stinker every now and then however, but faced with the cost of an OEM starter, I can't justify it. The local boat shop I work with makes a good buck fixing issues with electrics, seems that is a major weak spot for lots of techs who are otherwise good mechanics, but they make rookie mistakes constantly when it comes to electrics. Last time out somebody drove a wood screw thru a harness and damaged an THREE THOUSAND DOLLAR wakeboat computer( very fancy with a 8 inch LCD screen and the works) All to put a cup holder in at the back of the boat.

    I can always come up with good ones , but my buddy can always top me ( well mostly)


  5. #5
    Thanks for the response nmpeter. I may sound dumb here but I'm going to ask a lot of questions. you say disconnect the voltage regulator, is that the rectifier? The resistance between yellow wires and ground, am I touching the tester to the rubber part of the wire or the hole in the connector it goes too? will touching the rubber part of the wire give you a reading? Also what am I using to check for resistance, volt meter? Now when you say resistance between yellow wire should be less than 1 ohm, is that putting tester on wire-to-wire and not wire to ground?

    You said start the engine, switch to a/c and check output on the three yellow wires, will it start without rectifier, that is if the rectifier is the voltage regulator you talk about?

    What are the three legs on voltage regulator? you then say disconnect the batter, re-connect the regulator, and start it. Will it start with out battery?

    Now while checking fuel draw I'm gonna take a wild guess that an ammeter is different then a voltmeter, or does the volt meter have a setting to change it too?

    Now lets say I find problems and lets start with green stuff on stator connectors, how am I taking care of that? what if resistance isn't 1 ohm and its 10 ohm? what if it doesn't show 45-70v on the regulator? If fuel pump is drawing more than it should, do I just replace pump or is there an underlying issue?

    Once again sorry to ask all the dumb questions, hell you might be thinking, Dude you don't need to be owning a boat lol because I don't know a thing about them. Not saying that these electrical test are much different than a car because I don't know. I've done a lot of work on my car and it's at 197,000 and its a FORD, just not electrical work. So either way car or ski I wouldn't know. I am definitely going to sell it, I would just like to get a bit more money and have it running for the person I sell it too. in the meantime I'd like to ride it. I'm at a point where I want a 4 stroke with less headaches, just gotta save up for it Also I forgot to mention it has 216 hours on it, don't know if that helps. I'm gonna head down to my buddies car shop and see if he has the meters, like I said just need to know if volt and ammeter are different. Once again thanks for the help, hopefully I get it up and running. Hey nmpeter, how much could I get for it in the condition its in now and or if I get the problem fixed? All new: starter, drive shaft, PTO, Rectifier, stator, and battery?

  6. #6
    actis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmpeter View Post
    to properly troubleshoot a charging issue you have to start at the front and work your way back. A methodical and OCD state is suggested, shut off your phone, you do not want any interruptions while you investigate.

    First thing to have a look at is the connection to the stator, you need a mirror and a good flashlight.

    Inspect the pins at the engine, and have a good look at the connector, should be shiny with no green crap showing. Disconnect the voltage regulator Check for resistance between the yellow stator wires and ground it should be infinite. Resistance between yellow wires should be less then 1 ohm.

    With a quality voltmeter set to a/c start the engine and check the output on the three yellow stator wires at idle and very quickly check it at 5krpm. Should be showing 45-70V ac, I would suspect one or more of your stator coils are faulty. USe best practices for working on electrical. vent the hull, remove flammables and be cautious, you can get a good shock, which may cause injury

    Then you need to make the same check at the connector to the voltage regulator on the harness. Measure the a/c voltage on all three legs, then shut the engine, disconnect the battery, reconnect the regulator start the engine again switch to dc and see what is coming out of the voltage regulator for DC output.

    A faulty fuel pump that is drawing way more current then it should can cripple the system. You need a good ammeter to check the current draw, I believe the spec is less then 10amps at 5k rpm.

    The stock regulator is a bit wimpy for this ski, with a little creative wiring work you can use a 4-tec regulator which has a higher capacity and won't fail every other season. There are aftermarket regualtors available with the correct electricals on them to use a 4tec unit on an rfi

    I like getting electrical issues into the shop, fairly simple fix for me most of the time and everybody goes home happy. It just takes a method.

    report back on measurements and I'm pretty sure you'll find either the stator isn't putting out, or the new regulator isn't.

    Checking the fuel pump requires specialty tools or you can wire up an external battery to the fuel pump first and see if the skis battery is getting 13.5+ at idle, if that's the case the pump is going bad. Sorry, that's an expensive bit.

    That's what I do when somebody comes in after another shop has replaced everything and still no joy. I have a harness made up so I can run the fuel pump externally. Less then 25% of the time the pump has been bad

    I had a good one this year..a 4 tec owner on their second go round with other shops had spent close to $1000 and somehow one of the other shops missed a bad pin on the stator connector at the harness EVEN AFTER THEY REPLACED HIS STATOR!

    Needless to say I expect to be a witness in his small claims case as he's going after the shop that replaced the stator. He specially asked for the old stator back on the work order and somehow it got tossed out ( I somehow think they didn't change it at all). He'll never make up for missing half the summer last year while these asshats guessed and threw parts at his problem.

    I've never installed a factory starter, there is just too much of a premium on those, aftermarkets for the most part are well constructed(the Chinese are experienced at making electric motors so their tooling is pretty good)
    You can get a stinker every now and then however, but faced with the cost of an OEM starter, I can't justify it. The local boat shop I work with makes a good buck fixing issues with electrics, seems that is a major weak spot for lots of techs who are otherwise good mechanics, but they make rookie mistakes constantly when it comes to electrics. Last time out somebody drove a wood screw thru a harness and damaged an THREE THOUSAND DOLLAR wakeboat computer( very fancy with a 8 inch LCD screen and the works) All to put a cup holder in at the back of the boat.

    I can always come up with good ones , but my buddy can always top me ( well mostly)

    Wow, good advice & well written

  7. #7
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    nate, I'll suggest you seek out professional help, it's plaint o me that you simply aren't going tobe successful repairing thisi problem as the basics of electrical troubleshooting ( and electrics) is outside of your current skill set.

    where are you located?

  8. #8

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    Agreed. You need to go to a pro or get someone with strong electrical troubleshooting skills.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the help guys. I took it to a buddy of mine who owns a shop and has all the meters, we ran all the test and were getting all the correct numbers. My buddy was a bit leary about my ground saying it looked like it needed some attention, but still it checked out fine. So I am definitely leaning towards the stator being bad. I just replaced the stator last year and maybe have ridden it 5 times. Someone said to me that on a ski as old and this with 216 hours, statore going bad from year to year can happen, is this true? My biggest thing is that I've put $800 into it and haven't even had a good full ride yet. I have it listen on craigslist for $1800 if I fix the problem and $1500 as is. My other friend who owns a shop and does all the work on my ski is all backed up, but says he may have a stator lying around; however, I found one on eBay and Amazon, let me know what you all think. I feel like the first 2 links are the same part just on different sites. The third one has the housing with it which I don't need because the house was replaced when the stator was replaced last year. Once again thanks for all your guy's help, figure if the $72 part will work maybe she will run for me the rest of the summer. nmpeter I live in south jersey to answer your question.

    http://www.amazon.com/STATOR-SEADOO-.../dp/B00G5BU9BI

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/STATOR-SEADO...-/290972918314

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2001-SeaDoo-...72051e&vxp=mtr

  10. #10
    Sorry wanted to also mention to you all that the connectors on the stator were clean as a whistle

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